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Europe

Saudis Visit European Parliament

A delegation from the Saudi Arabian Parliament on Wednesday visited the European Parliament for the first time in ten years ahead of the first popular vote in the Persian Gulf country, scheduled for February.

For the fist time in almost ten years a delegation from the Saudi Arabian Parliament, the Majlis, visited the European Parliament on Wednesday. On Feb. 10 Saudis are scheduled to vote for members of the Majlis, a consultative body, in the first popular vote in the kingdom's history. Many hope the elections will mark a tentative step towards democracy, however it is still unclear if women will be allowed to take part in the ballot. An EU parliamentary delegation is expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for the vote. In a bid to bolster press freedom in the kingdom, the head of the EU Parliament's delegation to the Gulf states, Lili Gruber, proposed an exchange between Saudi and European journalists, where a group would spend a month each in Saudi Arabia and in Europe. (EUobserver.com)

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